Well thats a surprise. From out of nowhere Fuji come up with a retro styled fixed length APS-C sensor compact camera.
f/2 35mm equivalent lens, 10cm closest focusing, electronic or optical viewfinder, fast AF.
Seems like somebody looked at a Leica X1, saw what people identified as what could be improved and designed a camera to provide just that.
Interesting choice of name, X100.
To those of us who like this kind of thing it looks terrific and the spec. is really interesting. I'll be fascinated to see what kind of images it produces.
To me this is EXACTLY what companies like Fuji should be coming up with. Instead of competing (and usually loosing) in the world DSLR market, surely they should be producing, niche, stylish and unique cameras. You only have to see the reaction to this already. In the space of a few hours its been incredibly positive. If they bring this out at a decent price point and it doesn't turn out to produce awful pictures, they must have a potential winner on their hands.
I'm convinced that there is huge potential for "retro" design. Olympus have proved that with the Pens, but until now nobody else has followed them. Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have all gone with either conventional or modern design for their mirrorless systems.
Lets hope that Fuji go with simplicity and don't put in huge complicated menu systems. One of my complaints with the Olympus Pens is the complexity of them. There are some really encouraging signs from the pictures released today. There's a shutter speed dial, an exposure compensation dial (Hallelujah!!!) and an AF/AE lock button. Its also slightly bigger than a Panasonic GF1, so its not going to be compact camera size. Hopefully it won't be too light either.
I take further encouragement from the press release, where they use phrases such as "ultimate compact professional camera" "The priority for this model is picture quality, so it was decided to make the highest quality possible lens and sensor combination" All this is music to my ears. There is of course a coded message in here. "This won't be cheap!!!"
At the moment Fuji have me, I'm theirs. If they don't mess up on the picture quality and high ISO performance and the specs. and their press release doesn't prove to be just hot air, then I'm a customer.
What will tomorrow bring? Hopefully the GH2.